Yield to Jesus


January 9, 2000 ~ Pickering Standard Church


Psalm 33:1-11 - Sing joyfully to the LORD, you righteous; it is fitting for the upright to praise him. Praise the LORD with the harp; make music to him on the ten-stringed lyre. Sing to him a new song; play skillfully, and shout for joy. For the word of the LORD is right and true; he is faithful in all he does. The LORD loves righteousness and justice; the earth is full of his unfailing love. By the word of the LORD were the heavens made, their starry host by the breath of his mouth. He gathers the waters of the sea into jars; he puts the deep into storehouses. Let all the earth fear the LORD; let all the people of the world revere him. For he spoke, and it came to be; he commanded, and it stood firm. The LORD foils the plans of the nations; he thwarts the purposes of the peoples. But the plans of the LORD stand firm forever, the purposes of his heart through all generations.


In recent weeks we have all heard much ado over the turning of the century. As a response to what has been termed the Y2K crisis I would like to offer the following alternative:


Y2K - Year Two Thousand

Y2J - Yield to Jesus


During the years, months, weeks, and days leading up to the turn of the century many have made their plans. Some have stockpiled goods amid the hype of global catastrophe. Others have counted on the new millennium to give them a fresh start in life. Predominately visible in the media coverage of the occasion was the human response to the attainment of the two thousandth year since the birth of our Lord and saviour Jesus Christ. Very seldom was the fact that Jesus is the saviour of the world even mentioned, and if it was it would frequently be treated as an aside, a comfortable idea that some continue to believe but which the world has long since outgrown. But the turn of the century is now history, it is past and will not happen again in most of our lifetimes. By now most resolutions have been broken or ignored and many fresh starts are no longer so fresh as they were just over a week ago. But Christ remains. In fact Christ existed before the world began and will continue to exist in the eternity after it is destroyed. By His own admission this is so:


John 8:58 - "I tell you the truth," Jesus answered, "before Abraham was born, I am!"


So while some mourn the passing of an event that inspired the hope of new beginnings I wish to remind you this morning of our hope in Christ. My theme is that of our yielding to Christ, so completely trusting in God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit, that nothing else can matter or affect us. In his letter to the scattered children of Israel James, a brother of Jesus, addresses the issue of yielding to Jesus in this way:


James 4:13-15 - Now listen, you who say, "Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money." Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. Instead, you ought to say, "If it is the Lord's will, we will live and do this or that."


His meaning is obviously that our best plans are not those which are made with an abundance of counsellors or great human wisdom but our best plans are those which are built upon our faith in God and which are subject to His will. By "subject to His will" James means that we do whatever the will of God is and that we do not do whatever the will of God is not. This is what it means to yield to Jesus, at least in the context of doing what we should.


What does it take to yield to Jesus? Faith. The assurance that nothing can happen, to us as individuals or in the entire universe, that is beyond the power of God to control. The assurance that, whatever happens, God will do for you what is best for us, as Paul wrote to the Roman church:


Romans 8:28 - And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, have been called according to his purpose.


But faith in God is much more than the assurance that God will preserve us, it is the additional confidence that God will prosper us. Not prosper us materially but prosper us spiritually. He promises to strengthen us, to do things through us and to use us in this world to prepare both us and others for the next. As was spoken of the prophet Samuel:


1 Samuel 3:19-20 - The LORD was with Samuel as he grew up, and he let none of his words fall to the ground. And all Israel from Dan to Beersheba recognized that Samuel was attested as a prophet of the LORD.


God upheld Samuel and Israel knew that what he spoke was the truth from God for God "let none of his words fall to the ground." This is not to say that the life of one who loves God is going to be easy. Often we must make difficult choices that apparently will cause us harm. Coming again to Paul we see that in his life he was beset by some kind of ailment which he begged God to remove three times.


2 Corinthians 12:7-9 - To keep me from becoming conceited because of these surpassingly great revelations, there was given me a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness."


God's answer was "No, live with it and you will find My grace sufficient for all your needs, when you rely least upon yourself you can rely most on Me." Did Paul want this "thorn in the flesh" to remain? Certainly not for he asked God three time for it to be removed. Did it affect his effectiveness as a minister of the gospel? Yes, it affected him. It affected him for good as we can tell by his response:


2 Corinthians 12:9-10 - Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ's sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.


God knows best, He truly knows better than we do.


Proverbs 3:6 - In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.


Proverbs 16:1-4 - To man belong the plans of the heart, but from the LORD comes the reply of the tongue. All a man's ways seem innocent to him, but motives are weighed by the LORD. Commit to the LORD whatever you do, and your plans will succeed. The LORD works out everything for his own ends.


He knows better than we do not just because He is infinitely smarter but because He also has a plan for us that it is best for us all to follow:


Isaiah 48:17 - Thus says the LORD, your Redeemer, The Holy One of Israel: "I am the LORD your God, Who teaches you to profit, Who leads you by the way you should go.


When God speaks of His being the one Who "teaches you to profit" He is not indicating that He is giving us all a course in marketing or investing. This phrase may more appropriately be rendered: "I am the LORD your God, Who teaches you that which it is profitable for you to know."


Psalm 33:11-22 - Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD, the people he chose for his inheritance. From heaven the LORD looks down and sees all mankind; from his dwelling place he watches all who live on earth--he who forms the hearts of all, who considers everything they do. No king is saved by the size of his army; no warrior escapes by his great strength. A horse is a vain hope for deliverance; despite all its great strength it cannot save. But the eyes of the LORD are on those who fear him, on those whose hope is in his unfailing love, to deliver them from death and keep them alive in famine. We wait in hope for the LORD; he is our help and our shield. In him our hearts rejoice, for we trust in his holy name. May your unfailing love rest upon us, O LORD, even as we put our hope in you.